Friday. This was MY big day. Once again, I would guide a group of CouchSurfers over the central cemetery of Vienna (Zentralfriedhof). Last year’s tour had about 30 people attending, which was so far the biggest group I had to handle.
Carlos and Shawn left shortly after Georg who again had to be at the Base pretty early. Mitie and I took our time for breakfast, I even managed to go through some of my recent documents. The tour was planned to start at 1.15 pm at the cemetery, so we only had to leave around 12.30 pm.
When we arrived at the meeting point, there were already 15 people waiting. As last year, around 50 had registered for the meeting, so I was expecting to have a group of 30 again. How wrong I was. Not everybody who had signed up was there, of course. But for everybody who didn’t show up, somebody had decided last-minute to come. Mitie counted 52 in the beginning, and later on, 4 more girls found us at the Church.
The tour was good, people were attentive and asked nice questions, and I had some nice talks along the way. Afterwards, we stopped by a supermarket to get some stuff for the BBQ, and headed on to Donauinsel. Unfortunately, it started raining pretty heavily as we crossed the river. Most of the people who had come with me left again immediately. Some others waited with me at the subway station, hoping the rain would cease. But it didn’t. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment” I thought, took the lemonade I had brought from the supermarket, and left. It was raining really heavy now, but I had promised and wanted to go to the BBQ all day already.
At the BBQ, people were gathered under 3 big tarps. The organizers had of course checked for all eventualities and were prepared.
When the rain finally stopped, the fire was lit again (it had been taken care of during the rain, so there was not much to do) and the BBQ went on. Soon also the people who had fled before the rain came to the Base.
For Friday night, the program said “Free Night out” – hosts and surfers had the possibility to enjoy Viennese Nightlife on their own. Thanks to Caspar, I had made a reservation at Shebeen for this night – they were showing the EURO Qualification Game Austria – Germany. The reservation was for 16 people, and I had announced on the Vienna Calling Group that the table was full – but of course more people showed up and I nearly did not get a spot there. But everything – except for the game – went well, and I enjoyed the evening very much.